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be.tech is new MUSD school campus mane

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be.tech is new MUSD school campus mane

be.tech (formerly MUVA, Manteca Unified Vocational Academy) Culinary Arts student Ann Drum, at the microphone, and other vocational academy students give the presentation before the Board of Truste...

ROSE ALBANO RISSO/The Bulletin


POSTED December 20, 2013 12:18 a.m.

There’s a new campus on the Manteca Unified School District property at the corner of Louise Avenue and Airport Way in Manteca.

It’s called the be.tech school. The letters B and E stand for Boundless Education, Beyond Expected. They are words meant to immediately and specifically convey the mission of Manteca Unified’s first ever vocational charter school that the Board of Education initially christened Manteca Unified Vocational Academy. The new name is also meant to distinguish the vocational school from the district offices so as to avoid confusion between the two being located at the same site.

The name change from MUVA to be.tech comes in as a necessity due to the vocational charter school’s growing programs. The Culinary Arts, which launched the charter school two years ago, has been joined at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year in August by an industrial fabrication program. A third vocational program is in line to begin the following school year.

These vocational programs are open to 11th-grade students in Manteca Unified as well as other high school juniors living in San Joaquin County. The vocational school is set up like a public school where admission does not require a tuition fee. Where the be.tech vocational programs stand above the rest is that students who finish the program, at the same time that they accept their high school diplomas, come out of high school better equipped with skills and requirements they need to land a job right after graduation. Culinary Arts students, for example, get a state certificate on safe food handling with the school footing the hundreds of dollars needed to take the state certification exam. They also get hands-on, first-hand experience on food preparation from baking cookies and breads to making sandwiches that are either sold at the MUVA Cafe – now be.tech Cafe – or served at various catering sites where their services are requested that include the San Joaquin County Fair and the San Joaquin County Office of Education.

In charge of selecting the name for the MUVA campus was a naming committee which met on Oct. 30 and Nov. 20 to discuss and wade through the nominations submitted by members of the community. After the deliberation process, the committee submitted the two top choices – Explore... Unique Learning Opportunities, and be.tech... Boundless Education, Beyond the Expected. Their recommendation was be.tech which was approved unanimously by the Board of Trustees at their Dec. 10 meeting.

The committee received more than seven suggested names for the vocational campus.

The five-panel naming committee consisted of MUSD senior director of secondary education Clara Schmiedt, MUSD coordinator of Sustainability and Energy Education coordinator Victoria Brunn, community representatives Karen Pearsall and Mark Condit, and MUVA Culinary Arts school student Ann Drum who was one of the four vocational students who gave the presentation to the board prior to their vote.

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